More Organic Traffic, Less Work?

The Complete Guide to Agency Positioning

February 23rd , 2021

Ryan Stewart

Want to grow your agency in 2021?

Limit your audience.

That’s right, “limit” – as in make it smaller.

Let me explain…

Over the past year, we’ve worked with over 500 agencies. They all had at least one of the following problems:

  • Struggled to get new clients
  • Struggled to get consistent results for clients
  • Struggled to pull themselves out of operations

Each of these problems is a symptom of the same disease – weak positioning.

In this article, I’ll break down “positioning”, why its so critical and how you use this simple strategy to grow your agency in 2021.

 

P.S. We’ve got a free video masterclass where we get surgical on how to position your agency, click here to check it out.

 

Define “Positioning”?

Positioning = Uniquely qualifying your agency’s value in the market.

Some people call it selecting a niche, others call it specialization – I call it solving a specific problem, for a specific customer.

 

Why is “Positioning” so important?

A well-positioned agency enjoys less friction.

This only happens when you stop doing everything for everyone and focus on doing one thing, for one type of business.

Let’s unpack the benefits of positioning more…

 

#1 – Streamlines your operations

Solving a single problem for a single avatar makes service delivery a breeze.

You’re doing the same thing, over and over again.

This allows you to easily…

  • Create a streamlined process to simpler execution
  • Get better results for clients, as you’re removing the guesswork
  • Constantly improve service quality and remove redundancies through process management

A lot of agencies struggle with building processes because every time they take on a client, they’re doing something different.

Without processes, your life will always be a dumpster fire. The starting point to process isn’t SOPs, it’s positioning.

seo process

 

#2 – Simplifies hiring

Most agencies struggle with hiring because they don’t know who to hire, for what role and when.

If your agency is positioned properly, with clearly defined processes, you have a clear picture of what roles are needed.

When we repositioned our agency (WEBRIS), we were able to reduce the number of internal roles from 5 to 2.

seo agency roles for hiring

 

#3 – Easier to acquire customers

Let’s say your agency only partners with coffee shops to help them get more foot traffic in the door.

Your specific position alone will help you broker more sales conversations, but when that with a few case studies showcasing how you’ve helped other coffee shops grow, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Moreover…

  • It’s easier targeting your marketing campaigns
  • You’ll establish a track record with similar companies (think Case Studies)
  • You increase your edge over the competition when pitching and marketing

I mean, Facebook literally lets you target people who are in the coffee business.

coffee business targeting

So many people think selecting a position means a smaller market…it does, but it also let’s you easily stand out.

 

How to position your agency

If you’re still with me to this point, hopefully I’ve convinced why positioning is so important.

Now let’s talk about how to pick a position for your agency.

That process starts with understanding the different strategies available to you.

Within our coaching program for agencies, we offer 4 strategies to help select a position.

 

#1: Industry targeting

If you’re a smaller agency (less than $5m/ARR) this position is still very broad. It’s best you drill down further into customer details size, pain points, etc. This strategy has massive upside (market cap), but would be better for established agencies.

Examples:

  • B2b
  • SaaS
  • eCommerce
  • Local

A good example agency to look at is InFlow. They target the eCommerce industry, helping them increase sales through a blend of SEO and CRO.

 

#2: Niche industry

This is where most agencies start – “the riches are in the niches”. Most folks get stuck thinking this is only local, small businesses. Think bigger – a “niche” also applies to digital businesses, like women’s shoe stores.

There are potential issues with market cap or price points. You can crush it with coffee shops early on, but they can only pay so much. It’s really difficult to grow past $5m servicing clients of that size. Eventually, you’ll need to pivot into a new space (we can help you with that).

Examples:

  • Coffee shops
  • Crossfit gyms
  • Lawyers
  • Info marketers
  • Home improvement

A good example agency to look at is Rankings.io. They work exclusively with Personal Injury Law Firms, helping them get more cases through SEO. We interviewed their CEO, Chris Dreyer about how he grew their MRR to $579k off just 28 clients.

 

#3: Specialized service offer

Your agency can also specialize based on your service capabilities, by creating a unique offer.

Examples:

  • Content marketing
  • Link building
  • Mobile SEO
  • International SEO

A great example is SiegeMedia, an agency that provides content + link outreach services. They’ve nailed the process of creating viral content and supporting it with PR and media links, it’s the best SEO strategy for companies in competitive verticals that lack overall domain authority to rank.

I also really like Marie Haynes Consulting, specifically their Site Quality Assessment aimed at evaluating a client’s site for E-A-T related quality.

 

#4: Productized service offerings

A productized service runs on detailed, streamlined processes and solves a hyper specific problem. It runs like an assembly line or highly oiled machine, following the same process over and over for every client (NO deviation or custom work, ever).

Examples:

  • Case Study Buddy – helps B2B companies capture case studies from happy clients.
  • WEBRIS SEO Sprints – short term SEO campaigns geared at tackling each major pillar in the SEO process.
  • Repurpose House – repurposes your existing content for social media distribution.
P.S. We’ve got a free video masterclass where we get surgical on how to productize your agency’s service offering, click here to check it out.

 

BONUS – combining strategies

You don’t have to pick one, in fact, the best positions are the ones that combine multiple strategies.

  • An agency that specializes in helping fitness brands that run on Magento
  • An agency that helps info marketers with their SEO
  • An agency that sets up remarketing ads for B2B companies

Those are all off the top of my head, but you get the picture – don’t be afraid to go hyper specific, especially if you’re doing less than $1m in revenue.

 

 

Want more?

Partner with us 1 on 1 to help your agency select the right position. We’ve developed a process that will help you zero in on what / who / how to position your agency for less friction and more clients.

A recent DM from one of our clients.

The world changed in 2020 – every single business on the planet was affected.

Business need help from agencies / consultants more than ever.

They just don’t need it how we’ve been selling it.

They have new, specific problems – we need to position ourselves as the solution.

We help can you do that. Book a time to talk to a growth advisor about how we can work 1 on 1 to grow your agency.

Ryan Stewart

I build, grow and sell digital agencies. Most recently, WEBRIS, a 7 figure SEO agency.

February 23rd , 2021

0 Comments

COMMENTS (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *